WASHINGTON – Standing in a Senate Chamber that had been swarmed by a mob incited by President Donald Trump just hours earlier, Vice President Mike Pence certified the results of the 2020 Electoral College vote, confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
The statement from Pence came at 3:41 a.m. ET, capping off a historic joint Congressional session that was interrupted for several hours when a mob broke through Capitol defenses and sent the building into lockdown. Four deaths and more than 50 arrests were linked to the insurrection, including a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police.
“The announcement of the state of the vote by the president of the Senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States,” Pence said.
Pence certified what has been known for weeks: that Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris won the 2020 presidential election with 306 Electoral College votes, beating out the 232 votes for Trump and Pence.
What happened in D.C. yesterday? How a Trump mob stormed the Capitol forcing Washington into lockdown
Trump had pushed Congress to object to the certification of the results and wrongly claimed Pence had the power to block the process and overturn the election.
Pence, in a rare break from Trump, said he could not alter the outcome of the Congressional vote.
The vice president confirmed the transition of power will come on Jan. 20, 2021, the day of Biden’s inauguration.
Trump, who had previously refused to concede the election, committed to an “orderly” transition of power just moments after Pence certified the Electoral College results on the Senate floor.
Trump issued the statement through a White House staffer Dan Scavino’s Twitter account after the president’s personal Twitter and Facebook accounts were locked hours earlier.
Some lawmakers in the House and Senate objected to the Electoral College results, but they lacked enough support to have an impact on the outcome.
Follow Jay Cannon of USA TODAY on Twitter: @JayTCannon